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Health and safety is a big concern in the hospitality industry, and getting it wrong can be fatal. If proper precautions aren’t taken, a kitchen can be a dangerous place to work or visit. If your establishment serves food to the public, unhygienic or unsafe practice poses further risks. 

Health and safety in the catering sector fall into two categories:staff safety and safety of the public. As you’ll know, Health and Safety officers inspect each premises to ensure staff are provided with a safe and hygienic working environment. Failure to comply with inspections can result in fines or, even worse, accidents and injury. 


Wear appropriate footwear

Have you ever dropped a knife? And for that split second, your heart sinks, and you’re hoping it’s not about to slice your toe off. Remove that risk with the appropriate footwear. Wearing leather safety shoes will not only protect you from falling sharp objects but from other kitchen accidents, for example, hot water, oil spills or broken glass. 


Wear protective clothing 

Having a uniform at work not only looks professional but allows you to ensure the safety of your employees by choosing good quality, protective clothing. Avoid long baggy sleeves when working in a kitchen, as they can easily catch fire on a stove. Pay attention also t the material the clothing is made of. Try to avoid particularly flammable or synthetic materials. When they overheat, they can melt onto your skin and cause irreversible damage. Invest in specific chef trousers to ensure the safety of your staff. 


Learn how to use knives safely 

This seems like an obvious point, but knife safety is very important, especially when working in a kitchen environment. Accidents can happen to even the most highly skilled and trained employees, so proper training or a refresher course cannot harm. A dull knife is more likely to slip and cut you than a sharp knife. Keeping your knives sharpened is the best way to avoid accidents. Choosing the right knife for the right product is also an essential way to prevent any accidents. For example, don’t try to slice salmon with a bread knife or strawberries with a meat cleaver. 

To further prevent any injuries further, consider using cut gloves when a knife is particularly sharp or you’re working close to the blade. Several hazards within the kitchen can potentially cause cuts, abrasions or lacerations. Still, cut-proof gloves are designed to withstand a range of sharp objects and keep you safe at work. 


Proactively prevent burns 

Working with hot surfaces and food increases the chance of burns in the workplace. The risk can be considerably reduced by proactively reducing the potential. For example, always make sure when cooking, the handles of pots and pans are turned inward. This reduces the risk of someone walking into them and knocking the pot with hot contents over and burning themselves and you. Be sure to always have heat-protective gloves on hand to remove trays and dishes from the ovens or hot counters, a tea towel or cloth will not provide the same protection causing you to burn yourself. 


Wash your hands regularly

Within a kitchen or food preparation area, hundreds of different bacterias can be passed on through the food and cause harmful cross-contamination. Always stay compliant with health and safety regulations by washing your hands regularly and keeping your clothes and shoes equally clean. 


Staying compliant with health and safety regulations within the kitchen is extremely important, not only to ensure that your business stays open and busy but to keep your staff and customers safe. For more information on ways Cobra Workwear can keep you and your business safe, contact us today! 

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